Prolific urbanisation in Europe has lead to phenomenal growth in the geographical size and land use density of towns and cities. Inevitably, over time, the fabric (buildings and infrastructure) of the built environment becomes obsolete and needs replacing. This gives rise to debates relating to regeneration. It has become a political imperative in the UK, and Europe as a whole, to focus development activity on the previously developed sites within existing urban areas. In the UK this is known as ÎbrownfieldÌ development. The argument developed in this paper is that emphasis should shift from identification and appraisal of vacant land to vacant buildings Ò and possibly partially vacant buildings. Commercial buildings, which remain vacant for long periods, are a potential resource for regeneration. Accurate, up-to-date and consistent information on building vacancy is needed to assess the feasibility of reusing vacant buildings. The paper specifically draws on the authorsÌ contributions to the national initiatives to improve the quality and quantity of land and property use data in England and Wales, and makes the case for better access to comprehensive information about vacant buildings to achieve economically efficient and sustainable development. In particular, the paper presents a methodology for using information collected for property taxation purposes to help identify the type, location and size of long-term vacant property and considers the possibility of implementation across Europe.